Dignitaries joined Interior Health officials today for the grand opening of the new heliport at Boundary Hospital. Members of the Clifton family, whose $200,000 donation made the heliport possible, were also on hand to celebrate the important addition to patient transport.
“The new Boundary Hospital heliport will shorten the time needed to transfer critically-ill patients to the life-saving health services they need,” said Linda Larson, Boundary-Similkameen MLA and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors. “On behalf of government and the residents of Grand Forks and the surrounding area, I would like to thank the Clifton family for their generous donation that made this heliport possible.”
Construction on the 27-metre diameter heliport began in June and the heliport was certified by Transport Canada on September 25, 2013.
“This is another example of the generosity of Grand Forks residents and the commitment this community has to health care,” said Interior Health Board Chair Norman Embree. “Interior Health is pleased to celebrate this legacy for the Clifton family and improvement to transportation for local patients.”
The heliport will be used by the BC Ambulance Service dedicated emergency helicopter in Kamloops and other contracted helicopter companies. This new heliport will mean that critically ill patients requiring helicopter transportation can leave straight from Boundary Hospital instead of traveling via ambulance to the Grand Forks airport.
“The Clifton’s incredibly generous act is a lasting support for those who need transport to a higher level of care,” said Les Cleverly, BCAS Manager of Critical Care Operations. “Having a heliport at the hospital will speed up available air transfers, which is a hugely significant factor for the acutely ill or injured in the Grand Forks area.”
The heliport, made possible by a $200,000 estate donation from the Clifton family, honors the memory of Gordon and Jean Clifton, long time Grand Forks and Christina Lake residents.
“My parents were dedicated to this community and wanted to ensure that their donation would benefit the people of this valley, and that Interior Health would use the funds to improve health care at Boundary Hospital,” said Ron Clifton, Gordon and Jean’s son who attended the opening with his wife Linda. “We believe this heliport achieves their vision.”
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